This week I bought some pyjamas from Sainsbury’s for my kids in size 2-3 and 3-4. When I got them out of the packaging, I was pretty shocked to see that the bigger sized pj’s had incredibly skimpy bottoms, whereas the smaller sized pair had long shorts in. On the packaging they were both described short pyjamas, indicating they were the same product. It will probably come as no surprise that the short pair were from the girls’ section, and the longer pair from the boys. So why are they not cut the same? Why is the pair for the older kid so skimpy compared to the younger one? Because she is a girl? They are children for christ’s sake! Aged 2 and 3! Why make the girls design skimpier?!?
It really irks me that this is the norm. My friend commented that she couldn’t see why it bothered me, that there are more important things to be concerned about, and granted, there most certainly are, but at ages two and three I find it really concerning that my children are being influenced by what society (or at the very least Sainsbury’s) says they should be wearing, and that image is skimpy, dare I say it sexier clothes for girls and a more conservative covering for boys.
I am all for my children choosing what they want to wear and which toys they want to play with. It never concerned me that my daughter frequently got mistaken for a boy when she was a baby because she wasn’t dressed from head to toe in pink, and it doesn’t concern me now if people mistake my very pretty, slightly long haired son for a girl because he chose to wear a headband that day, and wears shoes from the girls section (they are red zebra shoes). It also doesn’t concern me that my daughter thinks her new (pink) pj’s are ‘soooooo beautiful’ – that is fine, she would like her brothers dinosaur ones just as much if they were hers, but what DOES bother me is that I walk up and down a clothes shop aisle and the boys clothes are longer, baggier and bolder colours, and the girls clothes are frequently tighter, skimpier, and often insipid pinks and beige’s.
What rocks is that my kids don’t care yet. They push around pink prams with football ‘babies’ in them, get dirty in the garden and generally act like kids should do.
Sainsbury’s, take note. Let clothes be clothes. Let toys be toys. Let kids be kids.